Every year, Ladera Palma celebrates the beautiful and colorful Día de Muertos on our campus in two big ways! We celebrate during the day with a phenomenal performance and then our families get to experience a family festival after school. Our TK, Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade students create a wondrous performance singing in Spanish and Nahuatl and dancing folkloric dances. We start with having a strong teacher committee to work on both the performance and the family festival. Our teacher leaders, Melissa Ceballos and Brenda Valencia, create the practice schedule, the performance schedule and send out the beautiful fliers to communicate clearly with our families. They work extensively with our Community Liaison, Sulen Rodriguez, to arrange for family volunteers to decorate and prepare our school. Grade level teams collaborate and create the performances that they practice for a couple of weeks before the actual performance. Our teachers also procure the authentic costumes and work with their parents to have the students dress in a way to truly experience this culturally rich celebration. All this so we can hear their bilingual voices and enjoy their bi-cultural dances! And our fabulous support personnel help guide.
Our family festival is a true celebration of our cultural heritage and our community’s involvement with our school! Sulen Rodriguez, our Community Liaison, works tirelessly to create a community event that involves our families and community members. Afterschool, our families are invited to the Dia de los Muertos Festival. Families are invited to set up altars, or “ofrendas” in remembrance of the family members or friends that they remembering this Dia de Muertos. Additionally, there are many community vendors selling food and other articles available for our families to enjoy. Finally, our PALs leadership students, working with their facilitators, Mayra Hernandez, Veronica Arriaga-Hernandez and Kimberly Michel, are running game booths for the children’s entertainment! There is music and our own students performing against the backdrop of our calaveras. This hard work is worth it with all of our families and community members coming together to celebrate our school and our culture!